Bulgarian employees will be able to use their 2010 paid leave by the end of 2012, according to amendments to the Labor Code.
The amendments, submitted by the ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party, were passed by the Members of the Parliament on first reading Thursday.
The vote was imposed by a November 2010 ruling of the Constitutional Court rejecting the text which provided for the 2010 unused paid leave to be taken by the end of 2011 or be lost. The amendment keeps the principle of a 2-year prescription, to be adhered to from now on.
The new paid leave would be used according to a schedule prepared by the employer. The schedules for 2011 must be ready by the end of March, but for the following years they will have to be completed by the end of the previous year. For 2011 priority will be given to unused leave from 2010, but the leave from years before might be included as well.
The main opposition parties - the Bulgarian Socialists and ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms insisted the 2010 unused paid leave to be added to the leave accumulated by the end of 2009 and to be taken without a deadline, but the idea was rejected by the majority.
GERB say the new Labor Code will eliminate the accumulation of 300 - 400 days of unused leave. With the amendments, Bulgarian workers will now have to decide no later than December when to use their leave for the following year. This rule includes employees from the State administration as well.
The Main Labor Directorate will check the schedules. For 2012 workers will be able to delay the use of up to 20 days from their paid leave - 10 for work-related reasons and 10 for personal reasons.